Sunday, August 28, 2016

Last Full Week of Summer 2016

And just like that, summer is over. We see that many kids are already back in school, but we’re getting a later start than most, which meant one last week of soaking up the sun (for Mom and the kids, at least). We didn’t travel or make a big deal of it, but we had fun.
Nerf wars and LEGO car races: That's what summer afternoons are made of! 

Mike spent most of his week in meetings getting geared up for fall semester. Cal Lutheran has a faculty retreat, and both his department and the GSOE have their annual meetings at around the same time. One of his colleagues owns two vintage Fords (a Model A and a Model T). He brought the A by the office. 

The week started off with our regular walking of Roxy. However, the walk ended with tears when Roxy wanted to chase a dog and Hallie’s hands were wrapped in the leash. Bruised and bleeding fingers were the result of the confrontation. Eliza was so helpful to try to take care of Mom, and the two were happy that they were on their way home and close to Roxy’s house.

A bit after walking Roxy, Grandma M., Sawyer, and Cru came for a swim which definitely made our kids happy. Landon asked for Cru to stay after swimming, so he did, and the kids continued to play for a bit until Hallie needed to run an errand. The three kids came along, and the four of us ended up at Rite Aid for ice cream cones. The one scoop was more than enough for Hallie’s small tummy, and she almost regretted eating the super yummy flavor she got. We ended the evening taking Cru home and meeting Dad at home after his first day of meetings.

Tuesday morning started off a bit early with a PTA meeting for Hallie at the school. The kids played with some of the other kids, and we are excited for the changes our new principal, Dr. Walker, will be implementing this school year. Landon and Cru went with Grandpa M. to see the remake of Pete’s Dragon in the theater. What a great way for Grandpa to get to know his grandsons better! For pizza and a movie night on Saturday, we saw the 1977 version. Surprising how long it was. Mom and Dad knew many of the old songs by heart. Funny how that works. The new gymnastics schedule started this week for both kids. Eliza had to sit around a bit more than usual and was a good sport with not a lot of complaining.

Hallie finished getting the paperwork turned in for her new job as a part time campus supervisor at the kids’ school. This will be a great job for her and will help pay for Eliza’s new set of hours at gymnastics that start in September. Coach Ray said it is about time for Eliza to be on pre-team. Eliza is excited because it is a lot of hours like what her brother has. If you ever need to find Hallie, she will be at Victory four nights a week and would love some company.

On Wednesday, Hallie and the kids went to Simi to visit with Grandma and Grandpa O. and Alie. They also picked up the ceramics they had painted earlier in the month. They couldn’t help stopping at ALDI, the new Sprouts, and (unbeknownst to them) the grand opening of Stater Bros. The night ended with both kids at gymnastics.
Eliza met Sherry's two bulldogs.

Thursday must have been a bit calmer as there is not much on the calendar for this day. Eliza had a doctor’s appointment in the morning, and Mike had already gone to his meetings not long before. Hallie rented Angry Birds on DVD for the kids, and they watched it during the day. Landon and Eliza thought it was very funny.

After being a little hesitant after Hallie’s walking accident earlier in the week with Roxy, Hallie asked Mike if he would come walking with her and the kids. Mike did, and she was glad to have him along for the walk.

Right before heading to gymnastics we found out who the kids’ teachers will be. We have mixed feelings about the new year and pray for good results.

Speaking of Victory, on Friday after gymnastics, Hallie picked up Cru and we participated in a fundraiser for Casa Pacifica. Your entrance fee for Victory’s 10th birthday party was a back pack or school supplies that were donated for kids staying at Casa. Free play was had by kids and adults alike, and yummy cupcakes topped off the evening. Our names were entered in a raffle, and we won a Victory Nite for a future date. Woo hoo for us! The kids and Coach Dee even had their pictures taken by a newspaper photographer, so they just may end up in the local paper.

Saturday was quite a lazy day for the family around the house, which was a welcome relief. Mike had an appointment in the afternoon, and afterward the family took a walk around the neighborhood. The weather has been wonderful lately, and we need to make sure we get outside more. Hallie has mentioned the need for more walks or to go to the gym. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Things Are Never What They Appear

Again, another week with few photos. While summer appears to be endless, we realize it is winding to an end. Time to gear up for the new school year!

Hallie got to hold baby Claire on Monday. She likes it because Claire falls asleep in Hallie’s arms. Such a cutie! This is the last week of summer gymnastics, which means our schedules will change slightly come next week. It has been a fun summer at Victory, and watching the kids grow and learn new things and accomplish skills they have been working on has been exciting.

Hallie went to the school district office to fill out some paperwork for her upcoming job as a campus supervisor. This week we also got a lot of snacks and food to prepare for the upcoming school year that starts on August 30. The kids think they should eat all the snacks before school starts.

On Friday after gymnastics, Landon went to an end-of-summer party, Mike and Eliza ran some errands (grades are finally posted. Woo hoo!), and Hallie got her hair done. Here’s the single photo we have that we can publish for the week: Eliza watering her garden. Enjoy!
(Mike spied on her through the back window.) The Wild One is wearing quite the fetching fedora. 

After Landon’s party, Mike and the kids went camping at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Landon, Eliza, and Alie sure enjoy playing on the back lawn. Mike and Landon manages a volley in the “badminton” game they play of 54 volleys! Meanwhile, Mom had some alone time. She gets lonely when we’re gone, but she did get a chance to luxuriate in a bath before the craziness resumed.

On Sunday, the Olympics ended, much to the kids’ relief. Maybe they’ll get into the Winter games or the XXXII Olympiad. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Olympian Efforts

Frankly, there’s not a lot to write this week, nor do we have many pictures. Mike spent many many hours grading papers with more to come as the semester ends. We watched many many hours of Olympics (much to the kids’ chagrin), and we spent just a few hours building an Olympic-sized LEGO set.

On Monday, Hallie was supposed to go to The Price is Right, but she had to back out at the last minute. A restful day was not had unfortunately. We walked Roxy in the morning as usual, and it has been fun meeting some of Mian’s relatives. Shortly after walking Roxy, Hallie had an unexpected PTA board meeting. Landon and Eliza enjoyed the meeting because they were able to play at a park. After that, the trio headed to McDonald’s for lunch and then to the doctor so Hallie could get her blood drawn. Since surgery Hallie has felt extremely tired most days, and so we are going to start at the beginning and start ruling out things to see what we can find.

Both Hallie and Landon had doctor appointments again on Tuesday. Landon had blood drawn to check for allergies. We got ribs and ground beef out of the back of a truck (a large refrigerated truck from Zaycon Foods, that is). She and Landon also managed a trip to the LEGO Store, where Landon bought a Ninjago set and Hallie bought Mike the Volkswagen Beetle. As part of the deal, they got a mini-scale London double decker bus. Pretty amazing!

Wednesday found Hallie going to yet another doctor appointment after her workout. She took Landon, and Mike stayed with Eliza. The two of them went out to lunch at Souplantation before Mike dropped Eliza off at gymnastics with Hallie on his way to work.

After a visit from her visiting teacher on Thursday, Hallie and the kids joined Jacob’s mom Debra and some other friends over at Silver Strand Beach. Mike had to work, so he missed out on the sun and fun. Speaking of fun at the beach, Hallie received photos Uncle Shad took when the cousins got together at the beach a couple of weeks back. 

On Friday we set to working on the LEGO Beetle while watching the Olympics. The adults in the house have really looked forward to and enjoyed the original binge watching experience, but the kids seemed unimpressed after a few hours earlier in the week.

This big build reminded us of the Christmas VW Bus build at the Doreys in 2011

Good times! This new set was only 200 pieces fewer. . . .

We did take a break in the evening to watch The Little Prince, and the kids seemed to perk up for that. Charming movie. We also kept working on the Beetle.

Hallie made a deal with Kasea on Saturday: rides from and back to the airport in exchange for hairdo maintenance. Win-win all around! Hallie built the finishing touches to the Beetle, and then we were all done!

Sunday involved church and time spent at home. The weather is beginning to heat up again, and we are grateful for cool evening breezes. 

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Country Fair and Rio Games

We went to the “Country Fair with Ocean Air” (yes, country, not county), Mike finished up classes for the semester, and we camped out in front of the TV to watch the XXXI Summer Olympics. Ah, summertime in its prime!

Monday seems rather boring looking back at the calendar, even though we are exhausted at the end of each day. We did not walk Roxy this week as her owners’ relatives moved across the world from the Philippines to California and came in super late at night.

The kids attended gymnastics, and as Hallie has sat there for the kids for many hours she has met several other grandparents and parents who help pass the time with great conversations. It will be interesting to see what the fall schedule brings in just a few weeks.
This sort of thing certainly will not be happening. 

On Tuesday Hallie started off her day at one of her favorite places: getting her nails done by the beach. Angie the nail tech is so nice and makes for easy conversation, and when she is done Hallie feels happy. It doesn’t hurt that the scenery is beautiful and there is always a cast of characters that walk by the shop. On the way home from Ventura, Hallie ran a few errands which equaled yummy goodness for the family. World Market had Bird’s Custard Powder, so Mike made Nanaimo Bars (thank you for the recipe, Aunt Kira). Vallarta had tapas to make more empanadas from last Sunday’s recipe, and they also sold yerba mate so Mike was happy to have more mate to drink. We did not know how much Eliza like cinnamon gummy bears until Hallie brought home a bag of them from WinCo and found that suddenly one morning they were almost all gone into a cute five-year-old’s belly.

On Wednesday, we went to the Ventura County Fair. Grandma and Grandpa M., Cru, and Sawyer met us at a parking lot at Ventura High School where we caught a school bus to take to the fair. We did not want to pay $10 for parking. This was the first day of the fair, and it was only $1 to get in. A lot of people had the same idea we did, and we stood in a very long line. Thank heavens after the fair doors opened the line seemed to move quickly. We looked at livestock and drooled over the very expensive fair food. We ran into some relatives and two sets of friends from church. We stayed until about 2:00, then we had some lunch at In-N-Out before heading to gymnastics and tutoring.

"Mackinac Island Fudge." Yeah, right. 

Best of Show: Hmm. That building looks familiar. . . . 

Eliza charmed her way into getting a whittled owl.

Hello, Dolly

Hallie started Thursday off by going to a doctor’s appointment in Ventura. As soon as she got home she traded spots with Mike and he left for work. The rest of the day is a blur. Good thing she had a camera. The trio went to a place called Paint a Dream, where each kid painted a ceramic sculpture. 

Friday, Mike and Eliza walked Roxy while Hallie headed to gymnastics with Landon. While at gymnastics, Hallie ran to return something at Kohl’s and on her way out found Capri pants that fit right off the rack. That is a Non Scale Victory in our book. Mike dropped Eliza off with Hallie on his way to work. The girls headed to Nothing Bundt Cakes and CosmoProf for a few errands before Landon got done, and of course we brought home a cake or two.
While walking Roxy, we made a stop at the park. Eliza had to monkey around a bit. 

After lunch we headed over to our friends the Taylors where the kids played for a few hours and the moms had a chance to chat.

In the evening our friend Julia invited us to see Finding Dory on base while Mike worked. This time Hallie stayed awake and watched the whole thing. Another family from church was there and they have boys close to Landon’s age and he was so excited to sit with them.

Around 10:00 a.m. on Saturday our friend Madyson and her cute little boy Charlie came over to go swimming with Hallie and the kids for a couple of hours. The rest of the day was spent loafing around until Mike got home from teaching his last class for the semester (now he gets to grade final papers . . .). In the evening Hallie took Eliza school supply shopping (yup, she is starting Kindergarten).  

Hallie purchased a temporary trial of Sling TV so we could watch the Olympics on our Roku. Saturday and Saturnight the fam watched gymnastics and swimming. After church, we did much of the same. On Sunday morning right before we headed out the door to church, Mike surprised the rest of us by shaving his goatee for the first time in three years. He reports that it’s weird to feel the air on his naked skin. We’ll see how long this lasts. 

Landon built a little temple with Jenga bricks. He wanted to make sure to get a picture of it. Creative, this kid.